Years ago, I wrote a story about two cities who had been warring upon a plain for generations. After a great battle, a soldier awakens from a headwound to find that ghouls have been creeping down from the mountains every night, feeding on the bodies of the dead, probably stoking the fires of conflict since time immemorial.
There are multiple dualities that confront us today, and every time we resolve one, we move to a new and higher level, from which the source of the pain and fear is obvious…but the way to healing is also clear.
Male versus female
Gay versus Straight
Christian versus Muslim
Black versus White
Progressive and Conservative
And countless others.
I see nothing, and I mean NOTHING in the history of the human beings on either side of these issues that requires us to believe one side is superior or inferior in any substantial and ultimately meaningful way. All of the pain can be explained by the urge to survive on a tribal or personal or genetic level. All of the violence can be explained by 2% predation, 97% fear mobilized as anger, and about 1% other stuff.
1) Love yourself enough to fight for your own soul, and forgive your trespasses. Connect to your source of strength until you can look at the truth without flinching. See how your errors and transgressions were the result of error, fear, illusion, immature selfishness and ego. Take the leap of Faith that at the core of you, there is good. And that love is stronger than fear.
2) Extend your definition of “self” to others, offering the same forgiveness and affectionate regard and understanding. Everyone has done the best they could with the resources they have. We can do better now.
3) Look at the entire history of the interaction, and puzzle it through until you can see it was all just human stuff. Release the guilt, blame, shame and need to be superior…or fear of inferiority. Identify the fear beneath the anger.
4) Identify comrades. Family. People willing to stand together in unity, forgive themselves and each other, and build a future together. It is true that our past was an expression of “the best we could do.” But…we have more resources now. We can do better.
5) Most of those who cannot or will not join us are merely asleep, dreaming they are awake. Let them sleep. Be a protector. But be aware that they can be dangerous when their fear turns to anger. Drowning swimmers will drag down the lifeguard. But remember also that there are ghouls. Smiling monsters. Transactional Analysis calls this “let’s you and him fight.” They love the conflict. They feed on our flesh.
Wake up to the amazing potential existing at this moment in human history. Most of our problems have been caused by fear and weakness.
The answer is love and strength.